Trick of the Light

Rated T

A/N: HOLY SHIT GUYS I AM SO SORRY FOR THE DELAY! I'm in my last year of Uni and I'm so close to getting my degree and I have so much work to do! I am so sorry for the delay and I can't promise regular updates but I am going to try so hard to get something uploaded much sooner than the last one!
Thank you so much to everyone who still comes back to check on this!
And save your internet cookies, especially the rare one, for someone far more worthy than I!

I have no intentions of leaving this unfinished, and while the end is in sight it is still nowhere near completed! And so, I leave you with this meagre offering in the hopes that you won't hate me forever!

"Oh come on! Pretty please with sugar and sprinkles and world domination on top?"
"For the last time Stark, no means no!"
"Loki you're killing me here! Just do this one little thing and I promise I won't ask you for anything else for like, a week."
That last remark earned him a dangerously arched eyebrow. He recoiled a little as the other man licked his lips thoughtfully. Setting his book down on the arm rest and leaning back into the couch Loki patted the seat beside him and gestured for his husband to sit. Tony hated it when he couldn't get a read on the deity. It unnerved him to no end and he knew Loki was well aware of that.

"As you well know I have little magic left at my disposal, a ludicrously meagre amount of magic. It is the only thing I have left to hold on to and if it disappears, even only temporarily, I fear it might push me over the edge. Do you understand why I cannot grant you this request at this time?" The prince stated slowly. His tone was conversational but something dangerous lingered behind the words. Tony was treading on thin ice.
"I know Loki I get it, but I need you to do this for me. It's important. You know I wouldn't keep asking you if it weren't." He was answered with a sharp look that gradually softened. The engineer threw an arm around his partner's shoulders and pulled him close to press a kiss to his forehead.
"I can't do it Tony. This is part of your 'master plan' to get my magic back isn't it? Well I'm not saying I don't have faith in you but whatever it is you're plotting will probably be horrendously ill planned and you'll throw yourself head first into it. I don't want you getting hurt on my account. When my leg is mended we'll figure this out together. Alright?" He asked wearily and forced a small smile.

Tony bit the inside of his cheeks and nodded.
"Sure thing Loks."
"You're going to ignore everything I've just said and go and do something monumentally stupid anyway aren't you?"

"Yes. Yes I am. And you can't catch me." Tony said as he leapt to his feet and darted away from the incapacitated man. Loki growled a threat but was deftly ignored as the scientist glided past him with the smuggest of grins plastered across his face. It made the tricksters blood boil but the tiniest part of him rejoiced. Someone was trying to save him!

But that meant little to nothing if Tony died along the way.

Tony Stark however had no intention of dying. In fact he'd made it his life mission thus far to actively avoid death. Thinking back on this however he realised that, all things considered, he'd actually done a pretty bad job of staying out of trouble. As his fingers curled around the thrumming metal staff he winced as the stirrings of magic pooled within his fingertips.
"J.A.R.V.I.S. suit. " He commanded. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes as the metal plates were fitted alongside his body. There were three ways his next moves could go.


Nothing was going to happen. He'd make an idiot of himself, hide out in his lab for a couple of days, drink himself into oblivion and then lie profusely to Loki telling him that it was ok because he had a back up plan.


Everything would work flawlessly.


He was going to die.

After mentally checking off each of these points in his mind he made an admirable attempt at not being a jerk before folding spectacularly and sending Thor a text which read 'It's ok, Loki isn't dead and we're on HQ roof now. Don't tell Thor.'
It was a cruel thing to do and honestly, he could have just said 'important, meet me on roof'. But then, he was feeling a little malicious – a trait he was going to put down as being inherited from spending far too much time in the company of Malicious Incarnate. Having said that, he reckoned it might make ol' thunder and lightning move a little quicker because he doubted all Thor would garner from that text would be the words: Loki. Dead. HQ roof.
Before he could even begin to consider letting the guilt settle he heard the tell tale rattling of foundations that generally alluded to a certain Gods arrival.
Tony braced himself before moving to greet his undoubtedly terrified friend. Although maybe throwing the 'friend' word around was a bit low of him given what he planned to do.
Operation: Crippling Devastating Emotional Blackmail was now underway, though he hoped he wouldn't have to use it.

Sort of, half-hoped, anyway.

It had taken Thor the whole of a minute after landing to realise something was greatly amiss. The penny didn't drop until about twenty seconds later when he realised that neither Loki nor the Man of Iron was anywhere to be seen on the rooftop. Mjolnir unconsciously found its way into his grip and seemed to noiselessly sing for blood.
And then Tony reared his smug little face and, when questioned later, Thor really couldn't explain how Mjolnir had slipped from his grasp and sped at such an alarming rate towards his teammate.
"What is going on Stark." The God growled, his sentence punctuated by the creaking of skin on leather as his hammer found its way back to his hand. Tony smiled a lopsided smile and raised his hands defensively.
"Hey big guy, sorry about the ruse, I just needed you here. Like right this second. And don't worry! Loki is… well his condition is unchanged let's put it that way. But that's why I've called you here because I think we change that ol' buddy o'l pal of mine! Pleas stop me at any point if I'm rambling it's just that I think I'm really ont-"
"STOP. For the love of the AllFather Tony what are you talking about?"
"Oh. Right. Yeah, sure thing, erm- well I need to call in a favour. It's to get Loki's magic back. I think I can do it, I have nearly all the components, but I need a hand getting the last one. Think you can help me out?"
Thor frowned a moment, crossing his arms across his chest, head cocked slightly to one side.
"If it is within my power to give it Anthony then I will do so for the sake of my brother. What is it you would have me acquire?"
"Sleipnir." The engineer answered without skipping a beat.
"Sleipnir? The Allfathers steed?"
"Sleipnir. Loki's son."
"I am sorry friend but he is not for me to give." The blonde said shaking his head.
"He shouldn't be anyone's to give but that's an argument for another day. Come on Thor there has to be something you can do?" He pleaded stepping forwards waving his arms around desperately. "You're a God Thor! You'll be king of an entire planet of weird Norse aliens one day, surely you could just pull some strings and-"
"No, Anthony. I am truly sorry. I can speak to Odin on your behalf if you wish? Perhaps mother would be able to convince him to allow Sleipnir to aid you on your endeavour." The giant offered with a hopeful grin. Tony didn't have the heart to shoot him down. So much for emotional blackmail.
"Yeah. Sure Thor, can't hurt to try right? You'd probably be best clearing it with Fury first though seeing as you'll probably be gone awhile." He replied with a strained grin. "Anyway, I should be getting back. Our favourite resident princess will be tearing his hair out from boredom otherwise. Catch you later." He said with a wave of his hand as Thor beamed, presumably at the thought of being able to help, as he tore off through the skies.

Tony cursed and kicked at the ground, denting the roof slightly in the process. He absentmindedly began lowering and raising his mask as he walked, eventually opting to keep it off. Times like this it sometimes made things a little too claustrophobic. He needed room to think.
Chances were the golden brigade way up high would probably keep him hanging around as long as possible before allowing him passage to bargain. And even then he doubted they'd just let him be on his way without a fight, or at least some hard core debating. And to even get to that stage Thor would first have to get Fury to give him clearance to return to his homeworld to sort out the pre-Sleipnir dealings. But then that was exactly why Tony had 'forgotten' to tell Thor to omit the part about all this being for Loki's benefit.

If they were going to do this thing he was going to have everyone jumping through hoops trying to stop him. Doing things the easy way was just boring. Besides, it gave him longer to think because he really didn't want to have to go down the red tape route.

He knew he could do this. He had the staff, he had most of the plan, he knew where he needed to go, he was just short one horse. One very magical horse. But to get to the horse he needed to cross the universe and how the hell was he supposed to do that he had no-
Surely it wouldn't be that easy.
They wouldn't.
Would they?
If Odin could truly see all things, then it was highly likely that he already knew about Tony's half baked idea. He'd know what the scientist wanted and he'd know he'd do anything to get it. But even if he couldn't actively make a move towards helping with his wayward son's predicament perhaps he'd be willing to turn a blind eye, for lack of a better phrase.

Closing his eyes, Tony thought back on their first trip to Asgard. He snapped his fingers and flashed a smirk as the word he'd been scrying for sprung to the forefront of his mind. He moved to the centre of the roof and, after a moments hesitation, called up his AI.

"Yes, sir?"
"If this works send a message to Loki would you? Just tell him that I am going to do it. I'm going to get his magic back and I swear to the Gods I'm going to fix this. And if I survive, if he survives, I'm going to marry that man for real. And I promise we won't wake up the morning after next to his son. Actually scrap that last part, I'm not making promises that I can't keep. Tell him I love him, in the manliest way possible because all of this is sounding a little bit… mushy. Can you do that for me?" He asked, turning his gaze to the city stretched before him.
"Not a problem sir. I'll make sure he knows." J.A.R.V.I.S. responded dutifully.

Several floors down Loki bunched the material of his shirt up in his fists and aimed a weak snarl at the live feed. He knew he should have tried to do more to stop his idiot other half. He wasn't worried about Tony's plan working, he was more concerned about the effect it would have on the engineer when it didn't. His husband was brilliant and he didn't doubt his lover's capabilities for even a second, but that didn't stop him questioning everyone else's. He was broken enough that he didn't know if he could handle seeing Tony encounter another failure.

Tony shielded his eyes from the glare of the sun as he raised his glare heavenward. He cleared his throat, perhaps a little too dramatically given that he had no idea anyone but his butler was watching and, ever the showman, he cupped his hands round his mouth and threw his head back.

The word echoed in a manner Tony might have thought strange had he not been focused so intently on the currently unchanging sky.
It had been a long shot.
He had never believed in Gods until he'd met them, and even now he was still fairly cynical, so he'd never really expected them to believe much in him. His hands lingered around his mouth a moment before taking a deep breath. Somewhere within the complex Loki found himself holding his.

The word was still readied on his tongue when the sky split in two. Something hit him, it tore the breath from his lungs and pulled.
And then he was gone.
Loki swore loudly and profusely. Then he laughed, it racked his body painfully but it was a pain he embraced. This was madness. None of this should be working. But it was, and everything was uncertain and nothing was definite. It was chaos.
He lovedit.

He had Natasha on speed dial within seconds.
She said she'd be round in a few minutes.
She was coming armed with ice-cream and Pepper.
Not the condiment she had assured him.

He knew he should be worrying and fretting over his potentially doomed lover, that he should be in tears over the futility of the entire thing, but he couldn't bring himself to wipe his hopeful smirk from his face.

Besides; ice-cream.